University of Otago

Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand's first university. Otago has gained an excellent international reputation for its research and teaching.

Ranked among the world’s top 1% of universities according to QS World University Rankings, Otago students can choose from more than 200 study options at undergraduate and postgraduate level covering areas such as health science, business, science, and humanities.

Why study here?

Otago is renowned for its research, academic excellence, and unmatched student experience.

  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide (QS World Rankings)
  • #1 in NZ for educational performance (Tertiary Education Commission)
  • 95% of graduates go into work or on to further study (Graduate Opinion Survey)
  • Highest-possible university rating of 5 Stars Plus (QS Stars Rating)
  • Home to a total of 21,000 students, including international students from over 100 countries.

Life on Campus

The University of Otago main campus is located in the city of Dunedin – New Zealand’s student capital. Students make up one-fifth of Dunedin’s population, creating an energy and atmosphere that you’ll only find at Otago. Dunedin offers a wide range of accessible leisure activities. Ride the waves at some 30 nearby beaches, take on excellent mountain biking tracks, paddleboard, kayak or sail on the harbour, or head to Central Otago for a weekend at New Zealand’s top ski fields. It’s just part of life in Dunedin.

Find out more about University of Otago by filling in your details and the school will contact you.

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Scholarships & funding

International applicants (both in New Zealand and offshore) are eligible for a dedicated international scholarship – the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for International Students. This scholarship supports all eligible international students commencing study at Otago.


University of Otago Master Degrees 2024 | Scholarship & Application Tips for International Students

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Ignite your academic passions in our exceptional facilities, and study on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. 🌏🧑🏻‍💻

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⏰ Date and time: Friday 9 JUNE, 4-5 PM (NZ time)

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Event dates:

Date:   6/9/2023    Time:   4:00 PM - 5:00 PM   New Zealand Local time Learn more

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Join our webinar and learn everything you need to know about New Zealand, campus life, accommodation and study at Otago, with experts to answer your questions. 🧑🏻‍💻✨

⏰ Date and time: Friday 19 MAY, 4-5PM (NZ time)

🔗 To register, visit:

Event dates:

Date:   6/27/2023    Time:   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM   New Zealand Local time Learn more

Contact school

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Why study at University of Otago

Otago’s approachable, world-renowned teaching staff are dedicated to fostering creativity and independence and helping students achieve their visions for the future.

Otago graduates are globally in demand, with 95 percent of graduates going on to employment or further academic studies. Otago’s Social Impact Studio provides volunteering and leadership opportunities, while programmes like Audacious support start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Otago boasts some of the best completion rates for a doctorate or master’s qualification in the world, with exceptional supervisory support.

At Otago, old meets new, from iconic historic buildings to modern, award-winning laboratories and teaching spaces, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

Awards & Accreditations

top 1% of universities worldwide

QS World Rankings

#1 in New Zealand for Educational Performance

Tertiary Education Commission

5 stars plus University rating

QS Stars Rating

#1 MBA programme in New Zealand, with equis and accsb Accreditations


Student services & facilities

  • AskOtago – central help service for all questions!
  • International Student Support (Pastoral Care) & Visa & Insurance team
  • Otago University Students Association (OUSA) and Otago University International Students Association (OISA)
  • Social Impact Studio – University Volunteer Centre
  • Chaplains/ Muslim staff member/ Mosque/ Halal meals
  • Campus Watch
  • UniPol (Gym centre – free for students)
  • 7 Libraries – largest sits over 2000 students
  • Student Learning Development
  • Career Development Centre
  • Disability Information and Support
  • Student Health
  • Fellows at the residential colleges
  • PASS program
  • Academic and Pastoral support from departments
  • Residential college tutorial programs


Otago’s main campus in Dunedin is recognised as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, situated in the city precinct with cafes, galleries, museums, and shops within walking distance. On the doorstep are forested hills, beaches, a natural harbour, and incredible wildlife, with lakes, mountains, and world-class ski resorts only a few hours’ drive away. Otago also has campuses in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Invercargill.

Student lifestyle

As the only truly residential university in New Zealand, Otago’s student lifestyle is unmatched, and supports a diverse and inclusive student community with a population of 3,000 international students.


Find your perfect flat or room with the help of the University of Otago Student Accommodation Centre. Otago is famous for its residential college communities. We have 15 diverse colleges catering mostly to first-year students.

Flatting is also an important part of university life, offering both responsibility and independence. Dunedin has a wide range of rental accommodation from historic houses to multi-unit, purpose-built complexes.

The Student Accommodation Centre's accommodation advisers are available to talk to you Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, or you can talk to a school’s liaison officer.


University of Otago

362 Leith Street
9016 Dunedin
New Zealand

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